Pashtun Civil War

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RajeshA
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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby RajeshA » 12 May 2009 00:44

Prem wrote:Arun, Guess once a while everyone make mistake . Has your great Grand father in law known the future he might have acted differently . Had Chahaca achieved martyrdom in the name of peace, most probably we could have Sardar Patel as PM and no loss of Tibet, Kashmir and schackles of socialistic economy .
So now we know, who caused all the mess. :)

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 12 May 2009 10:12

Can some one color the areas in Selig Harrison's article to show the extent of Eastern Pashtunistan?

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Prem » 13 May 2009 08:07

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/dreyfuss ... n_pashtuns

New US General Vs. Taliban, Pashtuns

Meanwhile, writing in the Saudi Gazette, a former CIA station chief in Kabul, Graham Fuller, has a related piece worth reading in its entirety.

Fuller is an expert on political Islam, and a recurrent thesis in his recent work is that moderate Islamists are the antidote to radical and extremist Islamist movements.

He writes:


The Taliban represent zealous and largely ignorant mountain Islamists. They are also all ethnic Pashtuns. Most Pashtuns see the Taliban -- like them or not -- as the primary vehicle for restoration of Pashtun power in Afghanistan, lost in 2001. Pashtuns are also among the most fiercely nationalist, tribalized and xenophobic peoples of the world, united only against the foreign invader. In the end, the Taliban are probably more Pashtun than they are Islamist.

He writes: "US policies have now driven local nationalism, xenophobia and Islamism to combined fever pitch." His prescription is to reduce the pressures that are inflating Pashtun nationalism and xenophobia:


Only the withdrawal of American and NATO boots on the ground will begin to allow the process of near-frantic emotions to subside within Pakistan, and for the region to start to cool down. ... Sadly, US forces and Islamist radicals

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby vsudhir » 13 May 2009 08:29

Pashtuns are also among the most fiercely nationalist, tribalized and xenophobic peoples of the world, united only against the foreign invader. In the end, the Taliban are probably more Pashtun than they are Islamist.


BS peddling onlee.

The same pushtu had no qualms hosting arabs and chechens, uzbeks and somalis - for all their xenophobia and hypernationalism. And entering relations by marriage with some of 'em phoreners too.

And the targeted, ruthless, systematic elimination of entire tribal leadership on both sides of the Durand finds zero mention in the 'analysis'.

More like the guy's knowingly peddling stuff to others he wouldn't snort himself.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby arun » 15 Jun 2009 15:26

An unlikely Indian version of Lt. Col. Ralph Peters.

Tushar Gandhi demands that GOI must support Pukhtoon secession:

Has India betrayed Afghans?

Jun 14 2009 20:49 hrs IST

By Tushar Gandhi

……………. our betrayal of the Pukhtoons of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is tragic. This region has been overrun by the Taliban and the Al Qaeda. In Afghanistan, the Americans are chasing Al Qaeda and their inaccurate bombings are wreaking havoc on the villages of Afghanistan & NWFP. …………..

The world has kept quiet, but the silence of the Indian government is tragic. The Pukhtoons of NWFP, the romantic ‘Qabuliwalas’, have been our friends since long. During our independence struggle, under the leadership of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi, the Pukhtoons in their hundreds of thousands joined the non-violent fight for freedom. ……………… The Punjabi politicians of Pakistan have never forgiven the Pukhtoons and have been persecuting them since its inception. Now they have found an ally in the Americans. Under the pretext of fighting the Taliban, the Pakistani military and government have unleashed a reign of terror on the Pukhtoons. Like the Tamils of Sri Lanka …………….. the Pukhtoons too have been dreaming of a Pukhtoonkhwa, a nation comprising of Pukhtoon territories of Afghanistan and NWFP in Pakistan. Unfortunately the Pukhtoons have not found any patrons in their quest for a homeland.

It makes strategic sense for us to help divide Pakistan further by helping the Pukhtoons in their quest for Pukhtoonkhwa, carving out a great Pukhtoon nation friendly towards us. The Pukhtoons are practitioners of the moderate Sufi Islam, they will be a buffer against the Talibanised form of fanatic Islam. The Pukhtoons are being persecuted by both the fanatic Taliban and the vengeful Pakistani establishment. ………………… The Pukhtoons are being decimated and the world is watching silently. But our betrayal of the Qabuliwala is shameful.

A new factor has been introduced into the mess in Pakistan making it even more murky and dangerous for us. President Obama has asked China to intervene in Pakistan. We all know the mischief China has been up to against us in partnership with Pakistan. …………………

Will foreign minister SM Krishna raise these concerns with the US? Will the UPA government stand by our friends — the Pukhtoons?

CLICKY

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 15 Jun 2009 21:08

Its not just a simple matter of raising issues with US. What next should be also considered. For starters someone get in touch with Tushar Gandhi and setup a website documenting the info that Mr. Sardar Khan has been giving him. This is a basic Human Rights action and doesnt need GOI approval.

Also a rally can be organised in Delhi protesting the collateral damage from use of drones.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby RajeshA » 15 Jun 2009 22:50

ramana wrote:Also a rally can be organised in Delhi protesting the collateral damage from use of drones.


Excellent idea saar!

Giving any aid to Swat refugees, like someone mentioned, in the comments section of some British tabloid, is of course sheer waste of resources, as that aid ends up in the hands of either aid mafia or some hoarders in Pakistan. Besides we look silly giving aid to Pakistan.

However a march in Delhi not only against the drone strikes, but also against Pakistani Army's shelling of the innocents in Swat, Buner, Dir, etc, would be just the right thing to do! It should be in front of the Pakistani High Commission for their Human Rights Violations. A political message is appreciated far more amongst the Pushtuns, Muslims generally, than aid of food and supplies. Those things will be forgotten or ignored. But one can make a lot of political capital from organizing marches, demonstrations, etc. Too bad I am not in India! :oops: Would have loved to take part!

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Rudradev » 16 Jun 2009 09:43

Yes indeed. Let us hoist Al-Buraq Hussein Obama by his own self-righteous petard.

Let the people of the United States know that, even as Al-Buraq expands government control over the failing economy to Sheikhdom proportions of centralized tyranny... even as he bows and scrapes before the vicious kleptocratic monarch of Saudi Arabia like an Abyssinian slave trader...even while all this incompetence and shamelessness runs amok, US Taxpayer money is being used to finance the Pakistan Army's indiscriminate slaughter of the Pashtun people.

So much for "Hope"! So much for "Change"!

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 16 Jun 2009 09:50

The main message is to Pashtun people the world over that they are not alone. All others are secondary. Cant our Delhi members organize a protest march and call the TVwallas?

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby RajeshA » 16 Jun 2009 12:01

ramana wrote:The main message is to Pashtun people the world over that they are not alone. All others are secondary. Cant our Delhi members organize a protest march and call the TVwallas?

Perhaps it will help to post this plea on some other threads too, especially those which are well read.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Prabu » 19 Jul 2009 10:18


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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 02 Aug 2009 04:41

Pahstun dream

Ramana has a point
"Pashtuns on both sides of the border are feeling that all the world is against them," says Moabullah, a burly six-foot bearded Pashtun.


ahem..on this related note, it is good to see mainstream news channels echoing what we were saying here couple of years ago.

The Pashtuns and their ethnic agenda are in many ways at the center of the upcoming elections and the armed conflicts in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like the Pashtun-dominated Taliban, many Pashtuns who have not taken up arms still share the dream of a united Pashtunistan. This dream grows stronger as the Pashtuns on both sides of the border get more disgruntled..
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The Taliban stoke the Pashtun dream. A few years ago, Mullah Mohammed Omar wrote a Pashtu-language letter to his senior military commander Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Usmani, making it clear that the Taliban on both sides of the border were operating as one.

"The Pakistan Taliban are part of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and they should be under the command of Jalaluddin Haqqani," Omar said in the letter provided to the AP, referring to a powerful Taliban commander with an elaborate network of fighters and suicide bombers on both sides of the border.

This ill-defined border is called the Durand line, after colonial British representative Sir Mortimer Durand. Under a treaty, the line originally marked where British rule in India ended and that of Afghanistan began. The treaty expired in 1993 after 100 years.

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"Pashtun and Afghan mean the same thing really," says Lateef Afridi, a former Parliamentarian of the secular Awami National Party in Pakistan, who reviles the Taliban but shares their dreams of Pashtunistan.

The Taliban made the point in a colorful map of Afghanistan drawn at a school in Kandahar.

The word "Pashtunistan" runs the entire 2,430-kilometer (1,520-mile) border with Pakistan.
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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 02 Aug 2009 05:33

Also conclusively disproves conventional wisdom put forth by Orientalists that religion and nationalism are like oil and water and do not mix.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 02 Aug 2009 07:56

Image

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby ramana » 05 Aug 2009 21:33

A confirmation of the premise of this thread.



Article by Kathy Gannon of AP which describes the civil war and self determination aspects of this Fak-Ap war.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby RajeshA » 19 Aug 2009 11:32

An opinion piece maintaining that Pushtun Nationalism is on the wane.

Pashtun nationalism by Dr Manzur Ejaz: Daily Times

However, a closer look reveals that successful secular parties in the NWFP hardly have any inclination towards Pashtun nationalism beyond renaming the province. However, a small section of intelligentsia still carries the nationalistic aspirations and sees an opening for redrawing the boundaries on the basis of ethnicity.

The Pakistani Pashtun Taliban have acted quite differently from their Afghan brethren. While the Afghan Taliban adopted a policy of non-intervention in Pakistan or even in Northern Afghanistan, the Pakistani Pashtun Taliban manifested their aspiration to change the state and indeed the entire ideological make-up of Pakistan. In other words, the Pakistani Pashtun Taliban have acted as a centralist rather than a separatist ideological force, notwithstanding their temporary takeover of certain tribal areas. This shows how much Pashtun nationalism has weakened over the last thirty years.


Depending on whether the Pakiban succeed or fail in capturing power in Pakistan, the situation can be interpreted in two ways.

Dr. Mansur Ejaz is claiming that Pakibanism is not a separatist movement because it wants to spread the ideology throughout Pakistan and wants to capture power throughout Pakistan, and as such should be considered a centralist ideological force. He forgets that centralist forces are there to make the current center stronger. The Center is however being moved and not being made stronger.
  • Geographically the Center is being moved to Kandahar away from Lahore.
  • Ideologically the Center is being moved towards Wahhabism away from a Deoband/Barelvi/Sufi/Shia entente and power-sharing.
  • Politically the Center is being moved towards Arab Ideologues away from Feudal/RAPE/Pakjabi establishment.
  • Militarily the Center is being moved towards the Al Qaida/Taliban Combine away from the Pakistani Army.
This makes Pakistan being invaded by an alternative power.

Alternatively one can argue that, he ignores the fact that the "centralist ideological force" image that Pakiban projects, is needed to conquer the Pushtun areas with a much lesser level of resistance by the central authorities. Considering that the Pakiban has little chance of taking over Pakistani Punjab, it will remain a regional force mostly, a regional force made up of Pushtuns controlling Pushtun areas. That is a recipe for separatism, the only argument for centripetal force being the level of continued pressure on the Center. :)

So it is either an invasion or a break up on ethnic lines. If Pakistan wants to kid itself with a different paint, all the better.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby ramana » 08 Oct 2009 22:29

.

From Nigthwatch, 7 Oct., 2009

Afghanistan: On 7 October, the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban posted a statement on their website, shahamat.org, saying they pose no threat to the West.

According to Reuters, the statement reads: “We had and have no plan of harming countries of the world, including those in Europe … our goal is the independence of the country and the building of an Islamic state.” the statement went on to say that the Afghan Taliban were prepared for "a long war" if foreign troops "want to colonize the country of proud and pious Afghans under the baseless pretext of a war on terror."

Comment: The point worth noting is that the Taliban posting reinforces the statement on Sunday by US National Security Advisor Jones that there are fewer than 100 al Qaida in Afghanistan. Al Qaida is not welcome in Afghanistan by either side of the fight. The statement posted on the website is accurate, based on the past eight years. The Taliban resurgence is a home grown development that did not appeal to, rely on or seek Arab or al Qaida help, according to information in the public domain.

After their ouster from Kandahar in 2001, the Taliban openly derided the Arabs of al Qaida and blamed them for the Taliban’s misfortunes. They vowed never to allow the foreigners -- especially the haughty, insensitive Arabs -- back into Afghanistan, consistent with the history of Pashtun xenophobia. They have been true to that vow ever since, as General Jones confirmed, indirectly.

The premise that Afghanistan would become an al Qaida safe haven under any future government is alarmist and bespeaks a lack of understanding of the Pashtuns on this issue and a superficial knowledge of recent Afghan history.

In December 2001, Omar was ridiculed in public by his own commanders for inviting the “Arabs” and other foreigners, which led to their flight to Pakistan. The worst atrocities committed by the vice and virtue cops of the Taliban government were committed by the foreign thugs who accompanied bin Laden, according to media reports at the time. The Afghans did not behave that way against their own people, though they were brutish against the Soviets.

There is no factual basis for presuming that support for international Islamic terror is the norm in Afghanistan, rather than a tragic mistake. More than a thousand years of history reinforces the ethnic trait of visceral hatred of outsiders of all kind. Omar’s experience with the bin Laden and the Arabs revalidates the ancient wisdom.

See Neustadt and May’s Thinking in Time, Chapter 3, for a discussion of the appropriate uses of reasoning by historic analogy.

Bin Laden and his acolytes were/are exporters of a toxic world view that took root in Germany deeper than in Afghanistan. The Taliban were focused on subjugating recalcitrant Uzbeks and Tajiks of the Northern Alliance, not on exporting terror. No Afghans attacked the World Trade Center. :((

Even today, Omar and his merry men do not push – as they easily could -- the age old idea of a greater Pashtunistan that would join Pakistani Pashtuns with Afghan Pashtuns and would split modern day Pakistan north to south along the Indus River. The point is the security situation could be much, much worse and has been in the past, if the Quetta Shura were as brutish as some claim. 8)

There are no good guys, but any successful strategy in Afghanistan will include the Pashtuns in some kind of power sharing arrangement. No matter who governs in Kabul in the future, bin Laden and al Qaida will not find a safe haven in Afghanistan again because almost all Afghans continue to agree on that point after eight years.

For the record, the leading exporters of violent revolutionary doctrines today are the remnants of al Qaida in Pakistan and Iran via the Revolutionary Guards Quds force and its Hizballah proxies. Pakistan is just a regional supporter of terror against its neighbors, but so is India from time to time.



Mostly confirms Paul's analysis of the Pashtun Civil War.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Rudradev » 08 Oct 2009 23:34

ramana wrote:From Nigthwatch, 7 Oct., 2009


I can't believe you actually take that article seriously. It could have been written by Maleeha Lodhi. "Worst atrocities of Taliban Virtue and Vice Cops were carried out by Arabs... Taliban only wants independence and Islamic state, not in favor of international jihad... "Al-Qaeda" is something different and disconnected from the TSPA/ISI which spawned Taliban onlee... a Taliban returning to power would not harbour anti-Western Jihadi terrorists onlee..."

This is the line of thinking proposed by Joe Biden, James Jones and these other clowns who want to abandon Afghanistan to the "moderate" Taliban (and trust in the TSPA/ISI to take care of things). What does this article have to do with any analysis of the Pashtun Civil War? Nowhere is the Durrani-Ghilzai conflict even referred to.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby SwamyG » 08 Oct 2009 23:45

^^^
Even India supports reconciliation with Taliban

India’s position has remained: there is no purpose in talking to the Taliban; there is no such thing as a moderate Taliban.

But now there is a shift. In New Delhi today, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, addressing an international seminar on Afghanistan, declared that India would support the process of “reintegrating individuals with the national mainstream”, code for dialogue with the moderate Taliban who agree to renounce violence.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 09 Oct 2009 00:19

It is in Indian interests to ensure Taliban and AQ are together in this fight and AQ stays in Fak-AP as the benevolent parasite with the Taliban.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Rudradev » 09 Oct 2009 00:27

SwamyG wrote:^^^
Even India supports reconciliation with Taliban

India’s position has remained: there is no purpose in talking to the Taliban; there is no such thing as a moderate Taliban.

But now there is a shift. In New Delhi today, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, addressing an international seminar on Afghanistan, declared that India would support the process of “reintegrating individuals with the national mainstream”, code for dialogue with the moderate Taliban who agree to renounce violence.



There is a big difference between re-integrating individuals who were formerly involved with the Taliban into the political mainstream-- what Nirupama Rao is taking about-- and favouring "reconciliation with the Taliban". The above article seems to miss that entirely.

Even in dealing with our own insurgencies, from Punjab to Mizoram, the GOI has always taken a good cop-bad cop approach. Militants who want to give up the gun and enter the mainstream of electoral politics are actively encouraged to do so. Meanwhile those who remain recalcitrant and defy the constitution's authority are terminated with extreme prejudice. It is how both Punjab and Mizoram were pacified, and how all our insurgencies will eventually be pacified.

So it's no surprise we would favour the same thing in Afghanistan... it gives disaffected Pashtuns (or individuals of any specific group with a grievance) a constantly available alternative means to seek recourse in a lawful way.

There is nothing in common between this, and reconciling or making concessions to a "moderate Taliban" as an institution. Just as an individual Khalistan terrorist like SS Mann might be admitted back into the mainstream and allowed to stand for election, but groups like KCF and Babbar Khalsa would never have been accomodated as long as they were waging armed insurrection against the state.

That the Business Standard article is conflating the two positions by talking about one as a "code word" for the other, makes me wonder if the article isn't lifafa.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 09 Oct 2009 00:55

Nowhere is the Durrani-Ghilzai conflict even referred to.


Probably becuz it is a non western viewpoint.

Secondly it is a fundamental rule of western so called modern day secular thinking that ethnicity/nationalism and religion are like oil and water....wheras there is nothing further from the truth.

+++++++++

A good opportunity to remind readers that this is the premise of the thread.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 09 Oct 2009 01:33

A few readers have expressed the opinion that the Pakistani army by successfully pushing out the Taliban out of SWAT have succeeded in pushing the Taliban threat and also succeeded in doing what the Brits failed to do…establish Pakistani state control over FATA. I look at this in a different way….rather than establish state control it will contribute to spread of the zone of instability and make the state spend more resources to retain this control over FATA to maintain the Durand Line. No way will the Durand line situation revert to pre-1979 period.

Secondly, should the good Taliban come to power in Kabul, it will lead to a de facto partition of Afghania along ethnic lines. The good Taliban can forget about extending their control over Herat, Mazar, or the Panjshir valley. The ethnic cleansing after 9/11 has ejected the pushtun settler communities even from Kunduz (Bulbuddin Bulbghusaomatyar’s place). If the US withdraws from Aghanis after declearing victory....the entire region between the Amu Darya and the Indus will destablized resulting in a free for all for decades to come.

This happens....with Kabul under good taliban's control, what will they do next?

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 25 Oct 2009 07:08

Ramana: I request the title of this thread be renamed as the "Pakhtun struggle for independence from Pakistan".

Other than the Khattaks, a few Paskhtuns from the plains like Niazis etc. I do not see any notable Pakhtuns supporting Pakistan in the Waziristan ops. Contrast this with the anti Khalistan ops where bonfafide politicians like Beant Singh were the elected reps and competent IPS officers like KPS Gill led from the front.....where are their Pakhtun counterparts, if there are any, what are their credentials????

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Umrao Das » 25 Oct 2009 12:30

I had long time advocated that India recognize taliban tacitly ( as long is Karzai remains i power). Uncle is already talking to them, Milband was openly advocating to uncle.

It suits us eminently to be with Taliban(at least in the short run to prcipitate things). They were good enough to release the IA passengers once paid.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Pranav » 25 Oct 2009 13:33

America, Pakistan and the Taliban
http://www.hindu.com/2009/10/24/stories ... 980800.htm
M.K.Bhadrakumar

No matter who wins the November 7 runoff, he will carry the cross of being an American puppet, and forever will the common Afghan sit on the fence dangling his feet and refusing to rally in the fight against the Taliban.


-------------------
x-post from Afghanistan thread:

^^^ Re Bhadrakumar's article: The Afghan street knows the elections were rigged - so Karzai's admission, though painful for Karzai himself, is no big deal for them.

Also, Bhadrakumar generally tends to take a pro-Chinese (and by extension pro-Pak) line. He ignores the fact that 91% of the Afghans hate the Taliban (http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/10/ ... enemy.html) The international community now has a solemn obligation to protect those who have stuck their necks out in the effort to save Afghanistan from the Talibs.

The US has a long history of encouraging people to stick their necks out and then abandoning them. Who can blame the Afghans for hedging their bets? The memories of Najibullah hanging from a lamp-post are still fresh.

As far as India is concerned, it entirely depends on Iran, the Central Asian Republics and Russia. All of these have a profound distaste of the Talibs, and if they want to make a stand, India can definitely help. But on its own, there is not a whole lot that India can do.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 25 Oct 2009 22:52

Trying to draw a link between the formation of Afghanistan state by Ahmed Shah Durrani in 1747 and the present Sunni Jihad by Taliban, Shia-Sunni conflict in Parchinar, the leading role played by Shias in Pakistan’s formation and the Durrani-Ghilzai conflict between played out between Karzai and the Quetta Shuura.

I think the Pakhtun struggle for independence is basically the struggle to roll back the shia power back to 1747 when Ahmed Shah Durrani ( Durran means Pearl in Pushto) formed this state with the Qizaibashi Nadir Shah Afshar's support.

Till 1747, all Afghan provinces Ghazni, Kandahar (first lost to Persia in 1653), Balkh etc. were forward provinces in the Mughal empire.

Historical background:
Ahmed Shah Abdali was part of Nadir shah’s bodyguard. He decamped with the booty collected by Nadir Shah from India and was able to finance his new kingdom in Afghanistan. However he was kind to his master’s tribe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qizilbash) and encouraged several of them to migrate to Afghanistan. His tribe intermarried with the Qizilbashis. His descendant, Dost Muhammad’s mommy (Ranjit Singh’s contemporary in Kabul) was a Qizilbashi.

1971 Paki dictator Yahya Khan was a Qizilbashi.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Looking at the extent of Persian influence in these regions in the past, and the intensity of the sunni fervor, it makes me wonder if if the anti Shia pogroms in Pakistan, by Punjabi taliban, laskar e Jhangvi, the Ghilzai struggle against the Durrani (erstwhile associates of the persians) are not an effort to roll back the Persian influence back to 1747 under the garb of a global Jihad.

This objective, of course very nicely fits in with the Al Qiada/Saudi/American aim to reduce Iran’s power in this region.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 25 Oct 2009 23:11

The Qizilbash warriors accompanied Mughal emperor Humayun from Safavid Empire in Iran to South Asia to reconquer his empire from Suri Dynasty. The Qizilbash tribes settled in large numbers in northern Pakistan, Afghanistan and also in India at Delhi and Agra, centers of Mughal administration in South Asia.


The first Nizam of Hyderabad brought a large number of Qizilbashis with him to hyderabad. If you see someone with a name like "Ali Quli" in Hyd, chances are he is descended from the concubine of a Qizilabashi.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Johann » 26 Oct 2009 02:28

The kind of pan-Islamic culture that emerged in the 11th century from Turkey to the Subcontinent was the product of Turkish soldiers and Persian or Persified administrators. This is pretty much what most people, including Muslims (apart from the Salafis) think of as 'Islamic civilisation'. This is exactly what the Muslim League/Pakistan types of the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s glorified.

Even after the Safavids made Iran a Shia state and converted the population en masse 500 years later, large areas of Iranian peoples and Persian influence never converted - Afghanistan, Tajikistan, the Subcontinent and Anatolia.

The kind of Pan-Islamism that was around from Jamal al-Afghani's time in the 19th century up to the growth of the Salafis in the 1970s and 1980s was neither anti-Shia nor anti-Persian.

The growth of Saudi influence in the 1970s, and their support for the Deobandi movement brought much more intense anti-Shia, and by extension anti-Iranian, and even anti-Persian feelings.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Airavat » 26 Oct 2009 07:12

Paul wrote:I think the Pakhtun struggle for independence is basically the struggle to roll back the shia power back to 1747 when Ahmed Shah Durrani ( Durran means Pearl in Pushto) formed this state with the Qizaibashi Nadir Shah Afshar's support.


Paul,

Nadir Shah was murdered in 1747 by his Qizilbash followers because he had begun favoring his Afghan and Uzbek soldiers more. The Qizilbash nobles had planned to attack the Afghans after Nadir's murder, but Ahmad Shah Abdali and his men escaped from Kuchan towards Kandahar. Ahmad also captured Ghazni and Kabul from Nadir's men.

Later some of the Qizilbash were recruited in his army, the majority of which were Afghans (Pashtuns) and also included Uzbeks.

But you're right that there is an element of Shia-Sunni conflict in the present Pashtun civil war.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 26 Oct 2009 09:58

Airavat,

Ahmed Shah's leadership potential was recognized by several observors well before Nadir Shah died. When Delhi was conquered, the first Nizam had spotted Ahmed Shah's leadership capabilities and mentined so much to Nadir Shah Afshar.

According to noted pre-independence era historian JN Sarkar, Nadir Shah had asked Ahmed Shah Abdali (interestingly he was born in Multan) to be kind to his descendants in the future should he become a king. Ahmed Shah kept his word. Till Amir Abur Rehman's time, in the late 19th century Qizilbashis were part of the Aghani nobility. It did not matter anyways as by this time, the great game was in full swing and Afghanistan had become a football between Russia and the British Indian empire.

Point I am trying to make is that the Afghan state was formed by the upstart Ahmed Shah with the collboration of the Persians. This state displaced the Hotaki Ghalizai Pushtuns. The Ghilzais are trying to regain their power under the garb of the Taliban.

Furthermore, although I have used Persian and Shia interchangeably, they are different meanings..Persian influence transcends Shia influence. In that era, Shia-Sunni divide was not as sharp as it is now (I agree with Johann here for a change).

BTW..Qizilbash are the sword arm of Safavids persians, later to mount to coup just like the turks did in Sunni Islam.

A still smaller group, the Qizilbash, are the descendants of the Afshar guard of Nader Shah Afshari, believed to have been brought to Afghanistan in order to govern certain territories. Ahmad Shah Durrani favored the Qizilbash, creating some conflict between them and the Pashtuns. The people of this group speak Dari. The Qizilbash ruled Persia for two centuries in Iran until they spilled over into Afghan territory. Approximately 50,000 Qizilbash live in Afghanistan and are historically Shi'a Muslim. The Qizilbash have a tradition of being among the more literate groups and, therefore, were frequently members of the professional and governmental society. Nadir Shah Afshar directly preceded Ahmad Shah Durrani, who became the first Amir of Afghanistan in 1747. They are principally an urban people with greatest numbers in Kabul, but with significant settlement also in Ghazni, Kandahar and several other towns. The word Qizilbash is a Turkic word for redhead, so named because during the Saffavid dynastic period they wore red turbans.


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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Airavat » 27 Oct 2009 10:21

Paul wrote:According to noted pre-independence era historian JN Sarkar...

Point I am trying to make is that the Afghan state was formed by the upstart Ahmed Shah with the collboration of the Persians.


I'm also using JN Sarkar as reference and he is clear that Ahmad Shah rose to prominence because he was accepted as leader by the Afghans in Nadir Shah's service. In seizing Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul, there was no collaboration with the Qizilbash, and they were actually hostile to the Afghans.

After murdering Nadir Shah on the night of 19 June, 1747, the Qizilbash had planned to keep the murder a secret and then attack the Afghan camp in the morning. But the news leaked out and the Afghans escaped to Kandahar.

Paul wrote:This state displaced the Hotaki Ghalizai Pushtuns.


Any displacement of the Ghilzais was done by Nadir and not by Ahmad Shah Abdali. In 1708 the Abdalis and Ghilzais were in rebellion against the Safavid empire, and the latter tribe had seized Kandahar and Khurasan. The Persians were saved by Nadir Shah, who was a Turkoman. The Qizilbash of his army were all Turkomans whose ancestors had converted to the Shia faith.

Nadir transplanted the Ghilzais wholesale from Kandahar to Mazenderan and Khurasan, while he shifted the Abdalis from Herat to Kandahar. Many of the Ghilzai Afghans came to be in Nadir Shah's service; for example Nadir's governor of Kandahar was a Ghilzai Afghan, who was defeated by Ahmad Shah Abdali.

Kingdom of Afghanistan

The next morning the whole camp was in an uproar. The Afghan and Uzbeg contingents held together, and under the leadership of Nur Mahammad, well seconded by Ahmad Khan, they took up arms, loyal to the memory of their late master, and endeavoured to prevent
the pillage of the Royal tents. They were outnumbered ; and Nur Muhammad drew his men out of the camp, and the Afghans made for Kandahar.

The leaders of the tribes, such as Haji Jamal Khan, the Barakzai, Muhabat Khan Popalzai, Musa Dungi the famous Ishakzai chief, Nur Muhammad, Alizai, Nasr-Ullah Khan, the Nurzai Sardar and others, met in solemn conclave at the Shrine of Surkh Sher Baba. The question to be decided was who should be king. Ahmad Khan by virtue of his rank and family was present at the debates, and Sabir Shah's calling also made him welcome. He cut short the discussion by producing a tiny sheaf of wheat, and placing it in Ahmad Khan's turban, declared that no one in that assembly was so fit for the kingship as Ahmad Khan, the flower of the Duranis.

On the 24th June 1748, Ahmad Shah put into effect his design for the conquest of Khurassan, which had been under the nominal sway of Shah Rukh Mirza, a grandson of Nadir Shah. He remained some time in Herat, but at last having placed his eldest son Prince Timur in charge of the City, he went on to Kandahar. A part of the Turks of the Bayat tribe, who inhabit the Nishapur district, were taken into service by Ahmad Shah, and they with their families settled about Kabul and Ghazni, where their descendants still
are to be found.


The districts of Jam, Bakharz, Turbat, Khaf and Turshiz were attached to the kingdom of Afgfhanistan. Seistan also became a part of that kingdom.

Timur Shah, who ascended the throne in 1773, was extremely partial to Persians and those of Persian descent, whose deferential courtly manners were a great contrast, to the rough boisterous manners of even the great Durani nobles. Muhammad Amin Khan (son of Ashraf Sultan), was invited to court by Timur Shah, who reinstated him in the chieftainship of the Tokhi division of the Ghilzai tribes. At the same time Nurullah Khan was created chief of the Hotaki division and received the revenue from Dera Ismail Khan, Daman, Bannu and Urghun. These arrangements kept the Ghilzais quiet.

The Qizilbash are an element in the Afghan population now, but they had no role in the creation of the Afghan state, and were recruited later. The Ghilzais were also appointed to posts and held power in their own regions, while the rulers played one tribe against the other, including their own Durranis to stay in power.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Paul » 28 Oct 2009 23:24

I was referring to the HOtaki Ghilzai state in Kandahar.

The period 1707 - 1748 is the key period when in the absence of a strong power in Delhi the persians started moving in and the pakhtuns started the process for formation of a nation state. Before this period the regions comprising of Afghanistan were for the most part provinces of mughal empire. It is a canard spread by westerners and muslims that the regions Afghans have never been conquered by foreigners.

The ball started rolling in 1653 when Shah Jehan lost Kandahar to the persians....more later.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby ramana » 28 Oct 2009 23:40

Rekha Mishra in her book on Aurngazeb-Attitudes and Inclinations, page 10, also says the same that, Afghanistan was formed after loss of Kandhar to Persians and Balkh and Badhakshan to Uzebgs. The Emperor Shahjehan turned to the South India to regain prestige.

"The loss of military prestige led to the defiance by tribal chiefs in the North West Punjab. This area is strategic as it links Afghanistan and Mughal India and its loss could dissolve the Empire. Throughout the medieval period, the frontiers of Mughal Empire were in Afghanistan and not in Peshawar. In the long run the failure of military activities in the North West region sportended a great disaster."

In a way it did. In the long run it cutoff the hordes of tribals who poured thru the passes and reinforced the dying Muslim rulers time and again after second battle of Terrain. Yes the EIC won at Plassey in 1757 but it won against an already dead regime or society whihc was still to recover from the death blow of 1652.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby ramana » 29 Oct 2009 00:56

Modern day Afghanistan is the result of double rebellions. The first was against the Mughals (from Akbar to Aurangazeb) which gave them territory and the second was against the Persians(Nadir Shah and later rulers) which gave them their country. The second rebellion was a Durrani led affair which explains their current primacy. All this is a Pashtun affair.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby Johann » 29 Oct 2009 04:05

There's a rough parallel to the emergence of the Turkish tribes in settled Central Asia, Arab tribes in Arabia, and the Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan.

It is the sudden transformation from being politically and militarily marginal to absolutely pivotal. Clearly the Pashtuns moment came in the 18th century, and it hasn't ebbed yet.

The most successful Afghan leaders, like the most successful Arab and Turkish (I'm not talking about the Ottomans after 1453 - very different) were the ones who had the skills to form and lead tribal confederations. Some could turn them in to states, but states without tribal support collapsed.

The Ottoman Empire, the Mughal Empire, even the Qajars managed to outgrow the tribal nature and establish semi-modern states.

The Taliban can not recreate the old tribal confederations because warfare has destroyed much of the traditional tribal leadership. What you have are a bunch of competing strongmen, a bunch of gunmen who have become littler emirs leading young guys from their families and villages. These little emirs all hope to become the big emir one day, but are unable to amass a sufficiently large resource base for that, and forced to cooperate against common enemies.

This is the kind of chaos large parts of the Muslim world often found itself in after the 9th century, especially Iraq and Morocco. Often nothing changed until someone terrifying but politically skilled came in and swept these guys up, or one of them got a hold of some place rich and was able to keep growing.

In the context of Afghanistan, the only targets are resources in other weak states, and that means Pakistan. The upper end of the drug processing chain, the towns and farms of the Indus valley, and the natural gas of Baluchistan are their best options since their pushes in to Central Asia were crushed.

Pakistan must either change course, and utterly back the demilitarisation and economic development of FATA and Afghanistan, as the Awami National Party (with the support of many Pashtun) sought, or it can support the continued militarisation and social breakdown of the area. Because when the locusts have nothing left to eat in their own lands, they will head for wherever the grass is a bit greener and a bit less well fenced.

Both Daud as well as successive Pakistani governments chose to militarise the Pashtuns on their sides of the border, and there's no end in sight until a healthier, less militant kind of Pashtun/Afghan nationalism emerges. That is not possible as long as any power on the Indus exhibits both weakness and militancy the way that Pakistan has.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby ramana » 29 Oct 2009 04:14

I want to know more about the role of Daud after overthrowing Zahir Shah and the events that led to the coups in late 70s. Also what was the role of ZA Bhutto if any in destabilizing the Afghans before the Soviet takeover.

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Re: A Brief History of Modern Afghanistan Version I

Postby SSridhar » 29 Oct 2009 19:06

ramana wrote:I want to know more about the role of Daud after overthrowing Zahir Shah and the events that led to the coups in late 70s. Also what was the role of ZA Bhutto if any in destabilizing the Afghans before the Soviet takeover.

To understand that, we have to look at two things, IMHO. One is the overall influence of Islam on the tribal society and the other the establishment of modern Afghanistan in the late 19th century. Present day Afghanistan was created by Abdur Rehman who subdued the Hazaras and conquered Kafiristan (renaming it as Nuristan in the process) in the late 19th century. At that point of time, Afghanistan was dominated by Sunni Hanafi school and the Qadriyah & Naqshbandi Sufi orders. The Shi'a followed the Jafaria school. While Qadriyah influence came both from Mesopotamia and India, the Naqshbandi influence came from the Taimur land of Bukhara and also from India. The Afghans looked mainly to India for religious support and training. It was that which brought Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi-influenced-Naqshbandi thoughts to reach Afghanistan. Sirhindi, aka Mujaddid-Alf-e-Thani (Reformer of the Second Millennium) is credited with the creation of Pakistan three centuries later. (Of course, later Abu Ala Al Mawdudi's Ahl-e-Hadith influence also played a big part in Afghanistan.)

Many rulers of the 20th century Afghanistan implemented far reaching changes. Some of them did not hesitate to take head on the ulemas. Abdur Rehman was perhaps the pioneer as he formed a united Afghanistan after the Second Anglo-Afghan War, established the Loya Jirga (National Assembly) and the Departments of Justice and Education, two areas that the ulema always want to keep a stranglehold on. He entered into the Durand Treaty with the British in 1893. He became a defacto Caliph and amassed all powers to himself but in the process put the religious leaders in their places. He also formed an alliance with the Ottoman Empire as well as Iran's Qajar ruler. However, the Qajar Dynasty soon came to an end and the Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907 established spheres of influence for the Russians in the North and the British in the South. During WW I, Iran was occupied by these forces. All these had repercussions in Afghanistan as well. Ultimately, Amanullah took control of Afghanistan and though he appeared to be an Islamist, he was practical enough to enter into treaties with Russia and the British Indian Empire. Amanuallah entered into several treaties with Russia, one of which was the 'Treaty of Neutrality and Non-aggression'. He also introduced several reforms like Abdur Rehman earlier. He introduced women's higher education, banned polygamy, ordered everyone to wear Western dress (!) etc that caused resentment among the clerics and there was a revolt, aided by Sirhindi's successors. Outclassed, Amanuallah rolled back all his progressive reforms immediately. Soon, King Amanuallah was deposed. After a brief period of chaos, Amnuallah's cousin Nadir Shah resumed monarchy. He was the anti-thesis of both Abdur Rehman and Amanuallah as he established an Islamic fundamentalist state in Afghanistan under the guidance of Sirhindi's disciples. After his assassination, his son, a young Zahir Shah assumed the throne. This was the background in which Daoud Khan came to power.

Mohammed Daoud Khan, a cousin of Zahir Shah, deposed the then Prime Minister in c. 1953, but left the King remain. After WW II, radical student organizations appeared. Daoud Khan decided to strengthen his military and sought the help of the Soviet Union with which close relationships had developed from Amanuallah's days. Pakistan's entry into SEATO/CENTO and the Mutual Defence Agreement with the US compelled Afghanistan to seek more help from the USSR. Daoud Khan also raised the Pashtunistan issue with the newly created Pakistan. Daoud Khan ruled power twice. In this first term, he introduced several reforms like clipping the powers of the ulema, liberalizing the society and in general undoing Nadir Shah's theocracy and re-establishing Amanuallah's reforms. Proximity of the Daoud Khan regime with the Communist Russia and liberalization leading to their loss of power, angered the ulema. However, the modernized and loyal army stood by the King and the ulema could not do much. But, the trouble with Pakistan reached its high leading to hardship for landlocked Afghanistan as Pakistan closed its borders, and King Zahir Shah requested Daoud Khan to resign.

After the exit of Daoud Khan in March 1963, King Zahir Shah took complete control of the situation. The previous periods had lead to the creation of three powerful groups, the ulema led by Sirhindi's family and disciples, the Communists and the nationalists. At this point, Muslim Brotherhood's Syed Qutb's books as well as Mawdudi's books began to be available in Afghanistan. The Theology Department of the University of Kabul took interest in spreading these works. Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani and Prof. Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, who were later to play prominent roles, came into focus around this time. Similar to the Ikhwan of Egypt, these people created in c. 1965 The Organization of Young Muslims in Afghanistan. The University of Kabul became a den for these intrigues of Marxists and Islamists. King Zahir Shah felt that the Marxists posed more danger than the Islamists.

In July 1973, Daoud Khan once again seized power and now he abolished monarchy. While claiming to return Afghanistan to Islamic principles, Daoud Khan decided to continue vigorously with the reforms he had launched last time around. He joined hands with the Parchami group of Marxists and announced the republic, land reforms etc. By now Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had become the leader of the Organization of Young Muslims. Daoud Khan's tough tactics made Hekmatyar & Rabbani flee to Pakistan in June 1974. Z.A.Bhutto sided with Hekmatyar as he was for an armed struggle immediately. ZAB gave Hekmatyar's group training and arms but Daoud Khan crushed the rebellion in July, 1975. Daoud Khan now changed his tack and started prosecuting the Marxist Parchamis. Under pressure, the two Marxist factions (Parchamis and Khalqis) merged to create PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan). Daoud Khan continued to pursue the Islamists also vigorously. Government intelligence agencies started eliminating leaders of the Marxists. Though he arrested all PDPA leaders, the chief of PDPA, Nur Muhammad Taraki, had escaped and the Marxist cells in the Army mounted a coup against Daoud Khan in April, 1978 referred to as 'Great Saur Revolution'. Daoud Khan was killed and Taraki assumed power.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby ramana » 29 Oct 2009 20:25

THanks for the great history lesson. One more favor. Can we have this on ppt format? Reason is it will be easier to understand for all the folks.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War

Postby shaardula » 29 Oct 2009 20:52

@ sridhar and johann: thanks.


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